With the U.S. having more job openings than any time in history it is a great time to go after the role you've been dreaming of. You have far more power to transition careers or level up with your current title or even ask to amend your tasks to be geared towards what you love doing. More and more people are able to take the bull by the horns and advance their career in the direction they choose.
Landing your ideal job starts with a solid resume and outreach plan. There are tons of general formatting resources available online. This article provides insider tips to help you stand out amongst candidates and to make your career search easier and more fruitful.
It is important to reflect back to recruiters the keywords used in the job description. When creating your resume, research listings for the job you want to find and apply repetitive keywords that mirror what employers are looking for. For example, if I saw “problem resolution” in five job posts, I would include that exact wording on my resume. Big companies sometimes run the first round of screening through computers that check for words that match the job description. If you are applying to similar jobs the same knowledge, experience and skills will be needed and you won’t need to customize your resume. However, if there is a job you are excited about you may want to tweak your resume to include the exact terms that are in the job post.
Keep It To One Or Two Pages
The general rule of thumb is that resumes should be a single page if you have less than ten years of experience. Ten years of experience or more, a two-page (and sometimes three-page) resume is acceptable. The reason for this is that hiring managers on average spend seven seconds reviewing a resume, so you want to provide them with the most relevant, impressive and succinct information.
Add Quantifiable Results
Add facts that are measurable. For example, the amount of people you helped on a daily basis, money you saved the company, the number of people you trained, how many impressions from an ad campaign, etc.
Use Power Words/Action Verbs
These are the words at the beginning of each bullet point on your resume that describe what tasks you did, such as "increased" or "trained." You can Google "power words for resume" to find an abundance of resources.
Get A Proofreader
Make sure you get a second pair of eyes on your resume. You don’t want to submit a resume with mistakes. There are free resources available to help with catching errors, such as grammarly.com and hemingwayapp.com.
Add Relevant Experience
At the end of your resume include other experiences that would make you a good candidate. For example, volunteer work, leadership experience, hackathons, certifications, different languages you speak, etc.
Keep It Simple
Do not use a bunch of fonts, and typically avoid graphics/pictures - unless you are applying for design-related work. If you are applying internationally, research the resume format for that country - international resume do tend to include pictures.
Pursue Many Opportunities
Having a number of options that you are pursuing gives you more power and confidence. If you only have a few options, you may end up feeling anguish because you are more dependent on landing that job. Hiring managers will pick up on your confidence or your desperation. Being confident can lend itself to higher chances of getting the job. Exploring lots of opportunities is also beneficial to you, because you will have more room to evaluate whether the job is truly the right fit for you.
Make A Human Connection
After you have submitted your resume send a note to the recruiter for each job you have applied for. This will make sure your application doesn’t go unnoticed and makes you stand out as a candidate. Reaching out on LinkedIn is recommended so the recruiter sees your profile and you’re able to build a connection for future opportunities.
Stephanie Heath founder of SoulWork & Six Figures adds, “if a personal note is not included they run the risk of only relying on the ATS system to get their resume through. A lot of candidates get burnt out this way. Sending a short message on LinkedIn also helps cut down the time for the recruiter to see their profile and ensures they get an immediate yes (interview request) or a no (the recruiter sees the message, visits their profile and gives radio silence).”
When you send a LinkedIn request make sure to add a note! Stephanie suggests to send a casual note saying something such as, “Hi ____, I am reaching out regarding the ____ position at ____. I sent over an application today and just wanted to check in to see if the role was still available? Thank you for your time. Please have a great day! (your name and email)”
Other Important Information
Be willing to submit lots of resumes before landing a job.
Have patience. Getting hired takes time. If you are burnt out, future employers will sense your frustration and it will lessen the odds of you landing the job. If you feel like you are beginning to get burnt out, take a pause for self-care or try refreshing how you are approaching the process. For example, turning the interview process into a sociological experiment where you get to learn about the company's culture and people.
Happy job hunting!